Apr 242014
 

That’s today. I am allowed to stay home to exercise my right to vote. I wake up early to avoid the late morning rush at the polling booth. I reach with my wife and kid(it’s a stroll for my kid. He’s spared of deciding whom to vote for another 17 years). For me it’s a difficult task. I’ve not made up my mind yet and have no guidelines to makeup my mind as to whom to vote. They all are the same for me.

As I stand in the queue, watching the queue extending behind me, I see hope in the eyes of the people. Hope that the only process which will change their general condition is the election. They gaze at the candidates list on the wall to ensure that their candidate appears on it. I gaze on the list to search for a familiar name. I find none.

So whom do I vote?

I understand that its all about the government at the center at this stage. I want to give a change to the party which has sat in the opposition and shown promises of a change…for good. But who is the candidate for this party? I’ve not heard his name, let alone see him. How can I force myself to vote for someone who has not demonstrated his/her capabilities in handling the system. And what about the communal stains on the flags of this party? Should I disregard it?

I cannot think of the candidate of the current rulers. I just don’t want to give explanations. The last five years have been explanation enough. I wish to have faith in him but my mind doesn’t allow…

And the previously elected candidate from my constituency has shown his face after five years.

So whom do I vote?

There are those independents who, if elected, suddenly start depending on the cash rich party. I don’t approve of this politics. I don’t approve of the EC allowing such politics. Voters elect them because they have lost faith in the established parties. But these independents do not consult the voters before supporting these parties.

Independents are a mess……..

And how about those revolutionaries. They toppled the throne and came to power; with some support. But they lost direction. They have shown potential to act irresponsibly. And again, their candidate is the one I not know about. How do I trust in him? After all it’s a question of recovery of our nation.

So whom do I vote?

Of course the Election Commission has provided me with the option of None of the Above or “NOTA”. But how will it help. This option will just show how many are displeased with all the parties but this count will not be considered for re-elections or disqualification of current candidates. Then what’s the use. All the political parties will have a last laugh unless this option is given some real teeth.

So the question still remains. Whom do I vote? It’s a dilemma for me.

Its my turn to vote. I sign in the register and get the indelible ink on my left index finger. I go to the machine which is well hidden to give me my privacy. My mind is blank. I look at the machine but I recognize no name. I press a button. I see the light glow and hear the beep indicating a successful registration of vote. I leave the booth. For me the election is over. Now the wait until results.

While going home I fully understand that I don’t know for whom I voted. My vote is only known to the button which I pressed and the machine which registered my vote.

(Disclaimer : This is my experience of the election day. It’s not meant to poison the minds of voter with my thoughts. With regards to elections, the Indian voter is as much educated as the system has taught him. Any drastic change in his mindset with regards to any political party will be accomplished only by a drastic change in the system. My one blog article cannot influence his mind.

……..So don’t arrest me)

Feb 172012
 

It’s the day after the municipal elections in Maharashtra, India. The results are out and are of less significance for this write-up. It’s the same story over again. The scamsters, murderers, looters, cheaters and the dynasty rulers did win again, as there were very few clean candidates running the elections. What’s more significant is the coverage given by media to the “Absent Voter”. The turnout of the registered voters was quite poor, even when compared to the previous municipal elections in Mumbai. And this after the government of Maharashtra had forced corporates to declare a public holiday for their employees.

The reasons for the low turnout can be many. During one of the previous elections, a similar public holiday declared by the government, was chanced upon as an opportunity to make that pending trip to the native place. A significant quantity of the population of Mumbai happens to be immigrants, who have settled in Mumbai due to better prospects. Now I make myself clear at this point that I am not against people settling in Mumbai as long as they are not doing so illegally. For a megapolis like Mumbai to maintain its growth, large number of qualified and unskilled people are required and this is natural. So people from states out of Maharashtra have made Mumbai their home, officially on papers. They get their ration cards and their name appear in the voters list here. But when it’s time to fulfill their duty towards the people of the nation, they prefer to visit their native place instead. I have seen people making elaborate plans for a long weekend, anticipating a public holiday on the election day at previous election. So where’s the absent voter? He/She is vacationing.

What about people who are residents of Mumbai. Few of them scan through the list of candidates and decide that none is worthy of their precious vote. They prefer to relax in front of their TV, watching the day go by. Some identify a worthy candidate, but reason that the candidate is not strong enough to win against the heavy weight competition,hence do not bother to vote.Few don’t vote under the pretext that the “none of the above” option should have been made available but is not. And some few just wouldn’t care less. So where is the absent voter? Waiting for the next day to curse others for electing the goons back in to power.

I saw a filmstar of yesteryears on the TV(Female. Name withheld for the fear of defamation charges). Been longtime since I have seen her in a film. During the interview by a reporter at the polling booth, this actress shamelessly declared that she had not voted in any of the previous elections for many years. The reason she gave was either the career or pretty busy with herself to think about voting. It seemed that she had come for voting due to the sudden burst of the hormones that make you feel like voting. She did not feel anything wrong in informing that she was totally unaware of the political circus at present and hence asked the advice of a very close “advocate” friend, who, as per her judgement, is very learned. She was sure that he had given her the right advice and she had voted accordingly. My my, first things first. This shocking sentence helped me make up my mind to write this article on elections. Either the lawyer is too intelligent or the actress is stupid enough to admit her stupidness on live television. She didn’t have much work at hand, with her career quite down, so couldn’t she do some of her own research? Most(not all) of the filmstars are just faces without brains. So what about the present voters? They left their brains behind. As good as absent.

Now what about me? I did vote. But not this time. I am not registered in any of this municipal limits as a voter. I had a strong urge to try and vote. But you know, they check you for identification. I did vote the last time we had elections at our place.

Oct 222009
 

The split in sena has assured that a very good opposition is lost. MNS has been the driving force in this downfall, and figures from election commission are proof to it. The are many constituencies where sena has lost(including their fortress), but its not true that MNS has gained in those places.

Had they had the wisdom to stay together, sena would have been the driving force.

Also mr. Raj has to realise that when he speaks of the outsiders in aamchi mumbai, it may hold true for aamchi mumbai. But if he has to expand to state level, the need to address the issues of other cities/districts is very high, and the question of outsiders is a no issue there. Maybe thats the reason why MNS didnt field in around 50% of the constituencies.That could be his success mantra for 2014.

Oct 222009
 

Amazing isn’t it? Never had a catholic living in the coastal belt of vasai, supported any form of (pro) hindutva sena. Until august 2009, mr. vivek pandit MLA was much hated by christians due to his party ideologies.

But the equation changed, when the much “beloved” ex-MLA of vasai mr. thakur raised hand, physically in form of a slap to an activist, and politically by vetting for municipal corporation for that region against the will of locals.

Christians found themselves without a seasoned politician who would be recognised by all communities in the region. Mr. pandit found this to be a great opportunity to fulfill personal ambition by standing as an independent and gathering support of the people who despised him.

I donot oppose mr. pandit. The only thought that has crossed my mind time and again, is that, will it be possible for him to bring to the task, the resistance that is being offered by his supporters? Or will he be lost in his own abmitions?

One thing he has to remember, mr. thakur had won the previous election only due to the support of this community(for the lack of a suitable candidate). This time things have changed for him as he forgot that unity always triumphs. So if mr. pandit wishes this kind of support nex time around, he has to prove himself. He has been “selected” against the most non corrupt politician of the region( who, sadly couldn’t make it to higher level, since politics doesn’t support honesty anymore in India).

Sep 252009
 

Never has an assembly election created as huge a turmoil as is being created now. Candidates jumping parties/loyalties, threatening to jump across, rejection of seasoned politicians in favour of dynastic line up is being seen all around.
But the question to ponder upon amidst all this is that whether there really is any candidate who deserves to be followed on one word? For me the answer seems to be no.

For now I have no choice but to follow the party that I have worshipped for years. Whether they have a good candidate or not is besides point. I guess, this is not just me, but a dilemma for a very huge percentage of citizens of India.

And now I would like to investigate in to the proposal put forward by the election commission to the government, to add an option “none of the above” on the voting machine. As we all know the ruling party and the opposition replied in unison, “no”.
The reason behind this rejection is well known to the common man of India, no matter what excuse this politicians feed!! It’s plain, they donot have many deserving candidates to place all around India/State. And introducing this option would lead to their candidate being disqualified, the candidate on which that particular party had poured money.

But had this option being brought on EVM’s, I am sure, no party would have dared perform circus at the height of elections, fearing public outrage.

Before leaving here, an important point to ponder upon. What can we say about a party whose election manifesto comprises of legalising slums? I am not against slum dwellers, but this doesnt fit in a method to combat poverty. This is just pleasing vote bank…

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